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More poems by Rainer Maria RilkeRainer Maria Rilke | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Rainer Maria RilkeBooks by Rainer Maria Rilke

Spanish Dancer

Rainer Maria Rilke

As in one's hand a lighted match blinds you before
it comes aflame and sends out brilliant flickering
tongues to every side -- so, within the ring of the
spectators, her dance begins in hasty, heated rhythms
and spreads itself darting flames around.

And suddenly the dance is altogether flame!

With a fierce glance she sets her hair alight.
Unexpectedly she turns with daring artfulness
the swirling flounces of her dress within this
conflagaration, out of which her upheld naked arms,
clapping the castanets, appear like serpents striking.

And then, afraid her fire were diminishing,
she gathers it all up and flings it down
with an imperious haughtly gesture, and watches
as it lies there writhing on the ground, unyielding
and unwilling to concede the dance has ended.
Yet she show victory in her sweet swift smile
as she lifts up her face, while with her small firm feet
she stamps out the last of the dying embers.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 21 Jan 2018 10:59 PM | Viewed: 7777 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3276/ | Viewed on 21 January 2018.
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